Review: Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publisher: Self-Published
Age Group: New Adult
Source: Amazon
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.


3 out of 5

3 out of 5


My Thoughts

Ruin was actually a surprise for me.  While I was on my staycation (best thing ever!), I had a huge craving for romance-y stories.  I mean, I always like a little romance, but I just only wanted romance for a few days.  So I thought I would try out a few New Adult self-published books.  I chose a few based on their summaries, ratings, and price.  Let’s just say, for the most part, I was underwhelmed.  So when I finally got around to reading Ruin, I was expecting to be disappointed again.  But I wasn’t.  It was a pleasant surprise.

Ruin is told in alternating POVs between Keirsten and Wes.  Keirsten is starting her first year of college, and you know right off the bat that she has had some traumatic experiences.  Events that she is still struggling to work through.  Wes is an upperclassman.  He’s this awesome football player, he’s gorgeous, and oh, his dad’s a millionaire.  I liked Keirsten and Wes almost immediately.  Although I didn’t have to deal with the traumatic events that Keirsten had to, I could see a lot of myself in her.  She’s shy and innocent, but not a push over.

And Wes.  You know what I love about him?  He’s not a jerk, or a player, and he definitely has some tough things he’s dealing with, too.  Probably my favorite scene in the whole book was when Keirsten and Wes first meet.  It was adorable, hilarious, and really showcased who Keirsten and Wes are.  After I finished the book, I went back to read that scene again.

Van Dyken also creates fantastic secondary characters, too.  Particularly, Keirsten’s roommate, and her other friend Gabe.  They have strong personalities, and they felt very realistic as people go.  I am quite interested in Gabe, and I would love if he got his own story.  I would be all over that.

I did feel like the book got a little preachy at times.  All this business of actually LIVING your life.  I mean, of course, yes, live your life.  But I did get a little weary of it all.  Some of the things that Wes was often saying did cause some eyerolling on my part.  That might just be my personality, though.

For a New Adult book, the sexytimes were very tame.  I mean, there’s lots of kissing . . . but not much else.  I’m not a uncomfortable with sexytime scenes, but, it seems like that is what New Adult is getting known for.  And I liked that Ruin wasn’t filled with that stuff.

If you enjoy romance, lovable characters, emotional reads, and New Adult, I highly recommend this one.  It’s not perfect, but it’s good.  And it’s only $.99 for Kindle.  You can’t really go wrong, there.  I may even look into Van Dyken’s other books.

**On a side note: I’m really  not a fan of the cover.  It doesn’t really give you a feeling about what the book is about.  Also, that guy looks nothing like how I pictures Wes.  He doesn’t look like a jock at all.  Just my opinion, though.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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4 Responses to Review: Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

  1. LilysBookBlog says:

    I know what you mean about just needing a bit of romance for a few days. During the summer I felt like I just needed that too and got a bunch of self publisihed titles. I’m glad you liked this one Quinn and that it didn’t fail to impress you like a bunch of other did. I’m suprised the whole hot and heavy stuff wasn’t the main focus or a priority in the book, especially for it being a New Adult and all. Great review!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  2. I haven’t had much luck with the new adult genre as of yet..I will have to check this one out!

  3. I’ve never heard of this one, but I may keep my eye on it. I’ve had mixed reactions to the New Adult books I’ve read so I’m a bit hesitant. I do like the fact that Wes sounds like a decent guy, not a jerk. Great review!

  4. I’ve seen this one floating around the interwebs a lot recently. I’m not entirely convinced by the New Adult genre but it looks good but the cover looks a little iffy.
    Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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